SyncSpider wins the Anton Award 2020 for E-Commerce Tool - Community Champion

How SyncSpider helps a growing car dealership expand offline sales to the online world

How SyncSpider helps a growing car dealership expand offline sales to the online world

How SyncSpider helps a growing car dealership expand offline sales to the online world

45

hours saved
per month

8

new sales channels

6

processes automated

"People who come to your showroom go online and check everything. As long as you can deliver the car that they want in the color and with the engine the customer wants, it's an easy sale."

Georg Horninger,

Head of IT at Sonnleitner

The challenge:

The way people buy cars has changed

The way people buy cars has changed

The way people buy cars has changed

Kartica

Sonnleitner is a growing car dealership based in Austria. With 13 showrooms in Austria and 3 more in Germany, Sonnleitner's focus in recent years has been increasing revenue from online sales.

Sonnleitner-Auto.com

Industry

  • Automotive

Annual revenue

  • €250MM

Employees

  • 350

eCommerce platform

  • WooCommerce

Main use cases

  • Keep inventory updated on a live website, based on offline sales.
  • Automatically update inventory on national and international listing sites selling used cars.

As with many other industries, the internet drastically changed the way people buy cars. The auto industry is changing at a rapid pace to adapt to new trends. And one of the biggest challenges for auto dealers is that people don’t want to go to dealerships anymore. Customers want to do their research online, pick their favorite models online, see pictures of cars online, and only go to the dealership when it’s time to make a purchase.

“The business changed. It used to be that people would come to your showroom, see a car, ask about it, get an offer, negotiate the price, and you had a sale. But with social media and the internet, the car business needs to go online.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Providing customers with up to date information 24/7

Cars are not impulse purchases. Customers will do lots of research on their own before choosing the car that best fits their lifestyle and budget. Auto dealers know this. That’s why a salesperson used to greet people at the parking lot, ready to answer all their questions. But today, the internet does the selling.

Sonnleitner’s website needs to provide visitors with all the information they're looking for, so that a sale can happen successfully. The information needs to be accurate and up to date, for each of the hundreds of cars, they sell at any given time. Otherwise, customers will have a poor experience when they decide to visit the dealership and realize the car they wanted is slightly different — or worse — no longer available.

“We want to have an online shop for cars, which is not so easy to do because there are some rules you have to follow. It was necessary to get a connection between our database — where we have all our cars’ data — and our website.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Manually updating their online stock
was not scalable

Sonnleitner is a booming auto dealership, with 13 showrooms in Austria and 3 in Germany (and growing).

Their catalog is constantly changing. New models coming up every year and multiple sales happening throughout the day.

It became impossible for Sonnleitner to manually keep up with such a dynamic product offer. They needed a way to easily update their website based on what was happening with their cars at each showroom.

“We usually have between 500 and 1,000 cars that we can show people at any time. It is impossible for someone to sit on the PC and manually put the pictures in and all this technical data, the price, the features, everything. The goal was to transfer the data we have on cars to our WooCommerce storefront in an easy way.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Stuck with a single sales channel,
when they could be growing

Sonnleitner sells used cars, as well. The internet is disrupting how used cars are sold, with multiple marketplaces and listing sites appearing in the past few years.

Dealerships could be taking advantage of these listing sites to upload their entire offer. But with each site requesting different data sets and formatting, the task is too time-consuming to put someone in charge of keeping track of all the listings and changes. Most dealerships pick a single listing site and that’s it, losing potential revenue by not uploading the same data across multiple marketplaces.

“Users have different platforms everywhere where they can search for used cars. We wanted to have a connection from our system to other listing sites so we could send our available cars and show them on these different websites. It is impossible to do this by hand. Maybe if you have 10 cars... but in our case, with so many cars and such a big market, we have to have an automatic system to do it for us.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

With fewer and fewer people visiting their showroom, Georg needed a tool that would help Sonnleitner improve online sales. He wanted to keep their website updated 24/7, based on their local product database. He also wanted to automatically upload their used car fleet to multiple car selling platforms, without hiring someone to do it manually.

The solution:

A tool that updates all sales channels
from a single source

A tool that updates all sales channels from a single source

A tool that updates all sales channels from a single source

There is no better way to showcase products than by being present where customers can see them. With the rise of online shopping, all retailers must have a web presence. Even if the actual transaction doesn’t happen online, the web is still the #1 tool for users to do their research before buying.

But selling their cars online proved to be a struggle for Sonnleitner. There are so many updates during the day that making sure their online offer actually matches their current car inventory turned into a monumental task.

“You need a person who takes care of everything. And if something changes, they have to update everything. That’s why the goal is to do it automatically. Because if you have more cars, you need more people. Otherwise, it's impossible to maintain all these cars updated on your website. That’s manpower we can use for more important work than just to check if everything is correct on the website.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Syncing products from their local database to their online store

Sonnleitner uses a proprietary CMS called Dealer Management System (DMS). They’ve built DMS to handle their business’ backend. This is where all the information they have about products and customers’ lives, but it’s not a system built for online sales. They use WooCommerce to run their online store.

SyncSpider sources product information from Sonnleitner’s DMS and uploads it to their WooCommerce store. The tool automatically matches all data points to show every detail Sonnleitner wants to showcase about their cars, on their website.

The data mapping is built once. Then, SyncSpider takes care of keeping both platforms — DMS and WooCommerce — in sync.

“It was not difficult for us to pull the data into SyncSpider. And then we connect the WooCommerce shop to our DMS, with SyncSpider in between.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Use case integration

Update stock from DMS to WooCommerce store

Selling on new channels that didn’t exist before

New platforms selling used cars are a great expansion opportunity for Sonnleitner. They simply need to upload their offer to get in front of thousands of new potential customers. With SyncSpider, there’s no need to have a staff member taking care of this manually, which drastically reduces costs and increases ROI. SyncSpider pulls the information from a single source like DMS or Shopify or an ERP and syncs it to as many listing sites as you want, automatically.

AutoScout is the biggest listing site we automate with SyncSpider. There’s also Car4you and Willhaben, which is a big platform.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Use case integration

Sync stock from DMS to AutoScout

Sync stock from DMS to Car4You

Creating a flawless buying experience for customers, while you sleep

Sonnleitner makes sure a customer never finds a car on their website that they can’t sell. Each car on their website shows all the details that are important to a customer, such as color, engine type, fuel efficiency, and speed. Even special features are displayed, like if the car has a sunroof or not. This is critical information for visitors and could be the difference between closing a sale or losing potential revenue. And if a specific car is not available anymore because it got sold, SyncSpider removes it from their website in seconds.

“We do a total sync during the night. In our system, we can mark the cars that are ready for the website and they’ll be live the next day. Then, we do an hourly update to reflect minor changes in our database. We don’t update the whole site — just the changes. And finally, if a car is sold during the day, we send this information immediately to the website to be removed. Otherwise, you’ll have a customer asking for a car which you've already sold. And that makes customers angry.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Use case integration

Whole database sync - Daily schedule

New changes reflected on website - Hourly schedule

Immediately remove sold cars from the website - Trigger-based

The results:

More sales, shorter sales cycles,
and critical time saved

More sales, shorter sales cycles, and critical time saved

More sales, shorter sales cycles, and critical time saved

Sonnleitner is leading the migration to online sales for car dealerships in Austria. They’ve identified how customer behavior changed in the past few years and were quick to adapt to new purchasing trends. SyncSpider has been at the core of this transformation for Sonnleitner, helping them sell using their online store and 3rd party marketplaces.

Because Sonnleitner can adapt their online content to match what visitors are looking for, their sales have increased. When a new customer goes to the dealership, Sonnleitner’s website has already done much of the selling. Most sales are easy to close if the customer shows up at the showroom.

“We no longer talk to 10 people and sell 1 car. Now we talk to 10 people and sell 5 or 6 cars. You don't have many discussions — I would say zero discussions — because the person who’s seen a car online and contacts you for a specific car is almost ready to buy.”

Georg Horninger - Head of IT at Sonnleitner

Why Sonnleitner loves SyncSpider

Why Sonnleitner loves SyncSpider

Why Sonnleitner loves SyncSpider

“The mapping is super easy. You have all the possibilities to change the data format, the numbers, or text fields, everything...

And it's super easy.”

“In the past, if we wanted to add one data field to our website, it took months for it to happen.

Now, we sit together and we agree on which information would be good to show on the site and a few days later, it's online.”

Expand your online and offline
sales channels

Expand your online and offline sales channels

Expand your online and offline sales channels

SyncSpider keeps your inventory in sync across platforms, making it easy to add more sales channels and bring in extra revenue, without the extra workload.

SyncSpider keeps your inventory in sync across platforms, making it easy to add more sales channels and bring in extra revenue, without the extra workload.

Connect your store to the most popular
eCommerce tools

Connect your store to the most popular eCommerce tools

Connect your store to the most popular eCommerce tools

eBay

Shopify

Amazon

Stripe

Magento

BigCommerce

WooCommerce

Mailchimp

Facebook

Odoo

SCV

Prestashop